A bike can be a very positive, happy experience for a child or it can be a negative one which may deter your child from riding a bike well in to adulthood. While the type of bike isn’t the only factor in determining whether or not your child will have a positive or negative experience with bikes, it can’t hurt to put some thought in to the type of bike that you will buy for your child.
As tempting as it can be to buy a discount bike for your child from Wal-Mart, you are simply not going to find a high quality bike in these types of stores. While finances are tight for many of us, a high quality bike is a good investment for your child and is one that is worth saving your pennies over. Make sure you are checking the brake pads, tire air pressure, and the chain condition.
Find a Good Fit
Much of the advice for finding a good bike for your child is very similar o finding a good bike or motorcycle for yourself. The difference is that when you are choosing such a machine for your child, you are responsible for another person’s quality of life and well-being, not just your own. One thing you can to do to ensure your child’s comfort on the bike is to ensure that it provides a good fit. Check to make sure that kids can reach the handlebars while maintaining a comfortable and relaxed position. Can your child place their feet flat on the ground? The crossbar should be at least two to three inches above the inseam of the child’s pants.
Finding a Good Helmet
Kids should never be allowed to ride a bike without wearing a good helmet. Brain injuries are especially prevalent in today’s society, and we want to prevent such injuries wherever possible, especially in children. The two go hand in hand. Do not buy the bike before the helmet and plan to get the helmet later on. Make sure you buy both at the same time. They are one in the same!
Maintenance and Safety Checks
If you opt to buy a used bike for your child, you will need to ensure that it is of good quality and road worthy before allowing your child to ride the bike. A good first start would be to bring the bike to a local bike shop to have a routine maintenance check completed on the bike. If this isn’t a feasible option for you, you can also find a local Bike Rodeo in your area (essentially a bicycle safety event) where they often will do safety checks and complete maintenance checks on the bike for free.
While color may not be quite as vital as some of the other factors mentioned in this article such as size and safety, it is still a very important factor in deciding a bike for your child! Kids in developmental stages are developing their personalities constantly and learning more about themselves each and every day. Choosing a color for the child that he or she will appreciate is absolutely important. Kids can be picky, and wherever possible, you should let your kid choose the color that speaks to them!
Training Wheels, Accessories, Kickstands
What sort of accessories does the bike have that the kid will appreciate or that will be necessary? Most bikes do not have training wheels and kick stands at the same time, though many have the option to add one or another on based on whether the child is in their ability level. There are plenty of other accessories that the bike could have-bells, baskets, lights and water bottle holders are just a few possible options that the bike may or may not come with. Consider these factors when choosing the right bike for your child!